Ormond Beach, Florida: Invincible Chief Tomokie

45-foot-high sculpture of legendary Timucuan chief and usurper of the sacred drink cup, who couldn't be stopped until lovely maiden Oleeta took aim. 1957 statue by artist Fred Dana Marsh.

Tomoka State Park

2099 N. Beach St., Ormond Beach, FL
Tomoka State Park. On Old Dixie Hwy/N. Beach St., three miles north of Ormond Beach or a mile south of Pine Tree Drive. Turn east into the park. Statue is all the way at the north end.
Daily 8 am - sunset. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Admission and Parking fee.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Visitor Tips and News About Invincible Chief Tomokie

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Chief Tomokie plaque.

Invincible Chief Tomokie

Head towards the outpost and go past. At the end of the park is the historical marker on the map, and that's where you will find the statue.

[Diane Urbanski, 01/04/2020]

We've adjusted the map pin to the end of the park location.

Chief Tomokie Statue

Sadly, the most recent photo (and several recent trips) have confirmed that the statue continues to fall apart. The state refuses to fix it (I've heard various reasons why). When I moved here, Oleeta was still visible, as were three additional warriors. All four have since crumbled into rubble which lays about the base of the statue. I recommend that roadsiders see it now; it may very well crumble into nothing in a decade or two, if not sooner.

[Prof. .a., 12/28/2015]

Chief Tomokie.

Invincible Chief Tomokie

It's a beautiful park and I hope the $5/car entrance fee goes to help maintain the sculpture. Looks like it had cascading water at one time.

[JayBeeYell, 11/12/2014]

Chief Tomokie.

Invincible Chief Tomokie

The 40 foot sculpture of "Chief Tomokie" was created in 1955 by artist Fred Dana Marsh. Chief Tomokie was a legendary chief of Timucuan warriors who failed to believe in mystical powers of a sacred spring, according to author Marian S. Tomblin. Tomokie's drinking of the sacred water from the spring enraged other Indians and a war ensued between Tomokie's warriors and those who believed the sacred water should not be touched by man.

But the water seemed to make Tomokie invincible as his enemies' arrows seemingly could not harm him. Then a lovely Indian princess named Oleeta took aim at Tomokie and released an arrow that fatally wounded the massive warrior. Grabbing the sacred cup from Tomokie's hand, Oleeta herself was critically wounded by an arrow; her fellow tribes members were so moved by her death that they wiped out the remaining members of Tomokie's war party.

The statue has taken almost as much of a beating as the poor Indians in the legend; the bows and arrows once held by the Indian warriors are gone as is Tomokie's spear. The figure of Oleeta, directly beneath Tomokie, is badly damaged and unrecognizable. But still the sculpture has an unmistakable presence.

According to the State Archives, the statue was created by Marsh in 1955, the reflecting pool (now dry) added in 1956 and the sculpture was dedicated in 1957. Marsh probably chose the legend of Tomokie as the subject for his sculpture because the site of the park is the location of the former Timucuan village of Nocoroco.

[Rick Kilby, 01/09/2010]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Fairchild OakFairchild Oak, Ormond Beach, FL - 3 mi.
Pirate HousePirate House, Flagler Beach, FL - 8 mi.
Big Shark of DaytonaBig Shark of Daytona, Daytona Beach, FL - 7 mi.
In the region:
Marineland - Nothing Like the Original, Marineland, FL - 23 mi.

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